Burgundy is what’s trending on the fall wine scene — and the New York City Wine & Food Festival is where you’ll find the latest vintage.
“Burgundy is really leading the pack as far as growth,” Joseph Edgar from Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, who is curating the festival’s main event, told the Daily News. “Burgundy’s the hottest thing. From a profile standpoint, there’s nothing like it in the world.”
Starting Thursday, the 15th edition of the four-day gathering will bring together 400 food experts — including celebrity chefs, culinary personalities and wine producers — for an epicurean celebration.
The coziness of fall and impending winter add a tinge of romance as well — think cuddling — which makes one perhaps think of French. At least, that’s where wine drinkers’ minds seem to be headed.
“As we get into fall we see people lean more toward heavier wines,” Edgar said. “A lot of the trends this past year have really been toward French wines.”
Burgundy, or Bourgogne, as the French call it, hails from the central-eastern part of France, which has produced those grapes for hundreds of years. When the Burgundy has sold out, he said, people will turn to wines from Rhone, to the southeast.
Tastes on the American wine scene are a bit polarized, Edgar said. There are the consumers who crave minerality and terrior, the Earth-driven notes that place and climate infuse the wine with, which is what the French wines offer. Then there are people who go for something sweeter.
“We’re seeing those grow a lot, too, and that’s domestic,” Edgar said. “So the California producers that are putting a big emphasis on their fruit are seeing a lot of success as well.”
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Beyond Burgundy, there are other wines worth exploring, Edgar said. And they may be a bit less expensive, to boot, as shipping costs are “becoming tremendously challenging,” he said. “The containers that we use for shipping — we’re seeing quotes to fill a container and ship it at four times what it cost two years ago.”
That pushes people toward domestic wines, because those prices aren’t increasing as fast. However, then you hit pockets of supply affected by extreme weather.
“Domestically in Napa, many of the higher-end producers won’t have a 2020 vintage” because of California wildfires, Edgar said. “So I think you’re going to start to see prices go up on premium Napa Valley wines.”
Another potential beneficiary could be New York State winemakers. New Yorkers are “the most challenged state when it comes to consuming our own state’s wine,” he said. “We just don’t do a good job.”
Vintners in the Finger Lakes region are “producing amazing Reisling there. Really on par with European Reislings,” he said. “I love a Reisling in the fall. To me it’s a great fall white.”
At the grand tastings next weekend featuring samplings of food, wine and liquor, there will be a whole separate craft section comprising founder-led producers, smaller production and luxury premium spirits.
“If you buy tickets to the grand tasting, it’s a craft collection section within that tasting,” he explained. “There’s so much diversity in there, and people who love craft spirits and specialty cocktails will really enjoy it.”